The German war machine is in retreat. Two American M 18 tank destroyers are sent to root out a die hard group of Nazis holed up in the Harz Mountains.The German war machine is in retreat. Two American M 18 tank destroyers are sent to root out a die hard group of Nazis holed up in the Harz Mountains.The German war machine is in retreat. Two American M 18 tank destroyers are sent to root out a die hard group of Nazis holed up in the Harz Mountains.
The movie is bombastically heavy handed on race relations, and based on risible lies, from Owen's ridiculous presence to begin with, to a clumsy and false story about his father being a war hero rather than a farmer and steel worker. The only logical conclusion is that the Owens shown in this movie is not Jesse Owens the athlete, but a lying fantasist grifting off of his name. How else can you explain it?
Cinematically, it's poor. They do the best they can with the small budget that they have, but good luck seeing any ejecting brass. There's even a scene where brass and links from an M2 are showing falling into... I don't know, the floor of the tank? The ammo box? when it's painfully obvious that it's not actually firing, and the poor actor is just shaking it for all he's worth.
The HD filming also really highlights the flaws - or rather, the lack of flaws - in the vehicles and uniforms, right down to completely scuff and scratch free goggles. Clearly all fresh off the shelf, or rentals that had to be returned in pristine condition. In some particularly bizarre scenes they even highlight this, featuring the soles of boots that have clearly never touched the ground, or a tanker complaining about sleeping in his mint condition uniform, sporting freshly pressed creases.
Continuity is poor, with facial hair appearing and disappearing in the middle of scenes, and firefights where dozens of rounds are fired into a room with a full sized window backdrop without a single pane of glass being hit.
Yes, it's got M18s, but the budget only stretches to a few mobile scenes and some fairly shoddy effects, or even lack of effects for the first M18 shot.
The research and period detail are decent enough, but there are some curious foibles like, uh, "Jesse" manually working the extractor on an M1 carbine (and the only brass to be seen in the movie ejects), then in the very next shot demonstrating that it's semi automatic. Why? One particularly jarring anachronism is the insistence of most of the cast of demonstrating modern finger-along-receiver trigger discipline, which is great until you remember that it was never done in period.
If you're interested in history then you'll be infuriated by the dreadful shoehorning of Owens into the narrative plus the constant flaws, and if you're not interested in history then there's very little reason to watch this.
- Dec 21, 2020